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Making different choices

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Friday, November 09, 2012

It's my first week on SP, so I have all the enthusiasm and high hopes of any newbie. My goals for this week are simply to begin, and to attend with mindfulness.

The beginning part is easy -- just sign up, and start participating. Follow the directions, read the articles, join some communities, and embrace the inspiration.

The attending mindfully part isn't so easy, though. It means paying attention to things I really like to avoid -- like what I'm eating and how much. My job this week is to be aware, to notice what I wasn't noticing before. As we all know, simply paying attention can lead to its own changes. And so it did.

It was Day 2, and I was paying attention. I was driving home from the city thinking about what to make for dinner. On a normal Thursday, I would have either prepared some leftovers or picked up some takeout on my way home. Then, I would have had 2-3 glasses of wine and numbed myself for the rest of the night.

Because it was only Day 2, I really didn't want to choose the takeout and wine option. As I went through my mental inventory of leftovers in the fridge, I realized that none of them would get me anywhere near my protein needs for the day -- some veggie pot pie, some kubocha squash, tikka masala cauliflower and cabbage, or even beef and bean chili. I'd need to swing by the store. As I drove, I planned a nice fish dish -- a fresh piece of white fish, topped with a home-made gremolata, served on a bed of steamed spinach with a side of pureed cauliflower and a harvest cranberry roll. Sounds good, doesn't it?

But the grocery store's selection of fresh fish was nasty. Nasty and nearly non-existent. I don't usually buy my fish at grocery stores, and now I know why. The salmon looked fake (turns out it was artificially colored), and the white fishes looked tired. More tired than I was, and that is saying a lot.

ARGH! What to do? I meant well, I had a good plan, but what I wanted didn't magically appear in the grocery store. Those leftovers were starting to sound pretty good, protein be damned. So tempting. On another day, that's what I would have chosen. But it was only Day 2.

Instead, I walked over to the frozen section, where they actually had some wild salmon fillets. Okay, I thought, I can thaw one in a bath of cold water in about an hour. Worth the wait? Worth a try.

And it was. On Day 2, I made different choices than I would have a week ago. I even did so when it was inconvenient. Dinner was delicious, and I finished within all of my nutrition ranges for the day. I even skipped the wine, and went to bed with apple-cinnamon oatmeal in the crockpot.

Onward to Day 3!

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